First Look taps Grohne to head new U.K. ops


LONDON -- First Look International, the overseas sales and financing arm for First Look Studios in Los Angeles, on Wednesday said it has opened a U.K. base of operations and hired Celsius Entertainment's Tim Grohne to lead the new unit as vp, international sales.

"This is a logical development for our rapidly growing international sales operation. The London base will allow us to have much more day-to-day contact with European distributors," First Look International president Stuart Ford said in making the announcement. "The office will also act as an invaluable search engine for European-based projects we can board as a seller or co-financier, an area of our business we're very intent on growing."

Grohne said the London set up "will make First Look even more accessible to European filmmakers and distributors, and marks an important step toward Stuart's vision of creating a truly global entity."

FLI also announced hires for its Los Angeles operations, with Ruzanna Kegeyan joining as vp, international sales from Bob Yari's Syndicate Films. Also arriving, as director of international sales, is Catherine Quantschnigg, who joins from Showtime International.

Said Ford: "Alongside our sister company First Look Television, we're handling the global exploitation of several hundred titles at any given time, and I believe a company of this size should be aiming to offer an unrivalled degree of 'back-office' support and professionalism."